US:Lincoln dealers win top rating
Lincoln dealers win top rating
J.D. Power ranks brand highest for satisfaction, service
By Christine Tierney / The Detroit News
A Detroit automaker reclaimed top honors in J.D. Power and Associatesí 2004 survey of customer satisfaction with dealer service as Ford Motor Co.ís Lincoln brand drew the highest score for the first time ever.
Lincoln achieved a record-setting 912 points out of a possible 1,000, reflecting improvements in vehicle quality that led to less repair work, according to the annual survey released Tuesday.
Among owners of one- to three-year-old Lincoln models surveyed, ď97 percent said they can get an appointment the day they want it,Ē said Joe Ivers, executive director of quality and customer satisfaction at J.D. Power.
Several other Ford brands, including Mercury, Land Rover and Ford, also scored big gains. Fordís troubled Jaguar luxury brand tied with Volkswagen AGís Audi marque to register the largest improvement in the study.
Last year, Nissan Motor Co.ís Infiniti took first place, followed by General Motors Corp.ís Saturn brand.
GMís brands all scored above the industry average of 862 points in the 2004 survey. Overall, the industry posted an 11-point gain in customer satisfaction.
The automakerís Buick nameplate was ranked in second place, just behind Lincoln and ahead of past winners such as Toyota Motor Co.p.ís Lexus.
J.D. Power executives said customer satisfaction with dealer service generally tracks vehicle dependability scores, because owners of reliable vehicles tend to bring cars in primarily for routine maintenance work. But that is not always the case.
The Toyota brand was rated below average, although its score rose to 845 points in 2004 from 807 a year ago. Customers complained about long waits for maintenance work and some confusion about service charges.
How they finished
A look at brands that ranked at the top of the latest Customer Service Index study by J.D. Power, in which 1,000 points is the highest score.
Top brands, score
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My next Ford.....